Police department receives $5k grant

The Reading Police Department has received a $5,000 grant to combat underage drinking. The funding, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the US Department of Justice, will enable officers to conduct party patrols and compliance checks as part of a multifaceted effort spearheaded by police, town, and schools leaders, and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse to curb underage drinking. During the past six years, this approach has allowed Reading police to crack down on minors who seek to circumvent the law and those people and businesses that enable them. As a result, the local compliance rate has improved to an average of 90 percent from 2008 to 2012. “Teens and parents need to be reminded that underage drinking is not a game. It’s deadly serious,” Reading Police Chief James W. Cormier said in a written statement. “Parents need to know that hosting a party where alcohol is served to minors is both illegal and extremely dangerous for the minors and others in the community. Parents should also know they’ll face all legal liabilities.” Last year, activities under this grant program led to 111 youth citations and 154 arrests in Massachusetts. Citations also were issued to 131 adults and 201 arrests were made across the state. This year, 25 Massachusetts police departments received grants, which ranged from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the community.